You Smell, Madam -- I Stink

The outrageously pungent perfumes women are wearing nowadays has opened up some airspace for men of discernment, who would like to go in a more floral direction, and not necessarily in the acrid, B.O.-covering way of Lilac Vegetal. There was always Polo, I guess; but the intended mossy impression struck this country boy as more fungal. I liked Dad's English Leather best.

As an adult, I staked my claim in a citrus-wood aquatic peninsula, trying to avoid powdery clouds that my nose identified as Dad's inescapable cigarette smoke. I signed just like Paco Rabanne for awhile, but mostly focused on washing bad odors away. That turned out to be about 20 years' worth of work.

As I got into classic shaving, a more confident identity emerged, a fruitier me. I was lucky to pair some discount buys, Johnston and Murphy cologne with Dove Expert Shave cream. Not quite "out there" enough... I wouldn't want people to think I'm a banker! Over the holidays, I began searching for a new signature. Not so easy to do, online, without a frame of reference, but while Xmas shopping I got to smell around at Macy's. I came up empty.

On Valentine's Day, I asked my wife if she had anything I could wear. That raised an eyebrow! I don't think the question was understood well; I wasn't referring to her workplace vanillas.  She's almost as out-of-date as me, except for a couple "juicy" knock-offs I picked up at Big Lots. Value for money, they're the best. Better smelling than the $1, better integrity than the CVS (which was also my impression of the authentic scents at Macy's -- in an effort to preserve strength, pricy designers seem more comfortable with things that change odor.)

The discount chain came through for me again this week, as they had their version of Gucci "Guilty" on clearance for $2.50. (Two bottles, actually, with the more subdued "dark" version.) I can't say I was entirely comfortable with the symbols on the bottle right away, but I get it. I'm glad I didn't put down for the more expensive Curve Crush at TJ Maxx, which almost made a fool of me. Icing on the cake -- today my fancy French shave soap arrived, and it's pretty darn close. Another (manly) fragrance pairing!

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